By: Tatiana G. King
“From now on, reviews you write will be posted publicly using your G+ name and picture.”–Wait What?!
Who’s bright idea was this exactly? Can you tell I’m not pleased? Sure there’s the idea that reviews will become more legit. By unmasking the trolls and capping the obligatory “awesome app!!!111!1” or “app sux” comments you’re effectively bringing a clean slate where one can ‘trust’ the reviewer leaving the comment. Since your G+ photo and actual name is shown you’re more than compelled to go about leaving reviews the right way. You know, with no privacy whatsoever.
G+ doesnt even *really* allow u to use a nickname so essentially Google is forcing everyone to use their real identity–thats a safety issue for many. It also potentially opens to door for harassment from devs who decide they want to ‘go after’ a particular user that posts negative reviews. While this is part of a broader effort to encompass all Google sites/services under the overarching G+ umbrella, I still don’t see the point of them changing the way the Play store reviews work. Hell, I never knew there was a problem to begin with. Sure there are some unhelpful or unnecessary reviews–but its not the majority. In fact once an app has had at least a few thousand downloads, the reviews and ratings actually start to moderate themselves.
Google Skynet shouldnt have changed the review mechanics, but rather its app submission & listing system. I personally don’t care to see apps and reviews from users in Asia when I cant even read what they’re posting. To put it flatly, I don’t use my real name/photo etc on the Apple app store reviews…why would i want to do that for Google? And I love Google, but c’mon. The last thing I need is for this change to scare off real reviewers who, turned off by the new review system decide to stop posting all together. Even people who give good reviews feel uncomfortable about this change. I always thought anonymous reviews lend to more unbiased honesty. This is just an annoying change that, at least to me, holds no real purpose.
While little by little the Internet has become a less anonymous place, that does not mean that there aren’t millions that want to remain anonymous. Until this aspect that the choice of anonymity shld be in the hands of the user & not the company, there will forever be a privacy war.